Mavericks around the Worlds


As Tyson Chandler fills a niche for undefeated Team USA, Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea is playing a starring role, albeit for struggling Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Ricans are just 1-4 in Group C play with a lone victory over China. Barea's bunch lost by two points to host country Turkey and by three to Greece. Barea, who will enter his fifth season with the Mavs, has averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds. He hasn't shot particularly well, 43.8 percent overall and just 26.1 percent from the 3-point line.

As for the French team that is playing without point guard Roddy Beaubois, who is in Dallas rehabbing his surgically repaired broken left foot, has fared well in competitive Group D which includes Spain and Lithuania. France has won three of four heading into today's match against New Zealand.

Of course, when Beaubois returns to the Mavs, perhaps in late October, he will be looking to take minutes away from Barea at the backup point-guard spot. Beaubois is also a possibility to start at shooting guard.

French center Ian Mahinmi, the Mavs' third center behind Chandler and projected starter Brendan Haywood, is averaging 6.3 points (9-of-13 shooting) and 3.8 rebounds in 16.8 minutes.

Chandler is working his way back from two difficult NBA seasons ruined by ankle and foot injuries. His minutes are varying, from a low of five to a high of 15 in Team USA's win Wednesdsay over Tunisia, the Americans' fifth consecutive victory to remain undefeated and atop Group B. Chandler is averaging 3.0 points (7-of-11 shooting), 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks a game.